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Reigning champion David Bogie threw down the gauntlet to his title challengers with a dominant performance on Saturday’s  RSAC Scottish Rally – his third victory of the Hankook MSA Scottish championship.

The Dumfries competitor was fastest through four of the six bone-dry stages in his re-engined Mitsubishi Evo 9 to finish with a total time of 44 minutes 20.8 seconds,  19.2 seconds ahead of last year’s winner Mike Faulkner in an Evo 6.

Hard-charging David Wilson secured the final podium spot – and Hankook Group N honours – a further 56.6 seconds adrift in his Evo 9.

With three rounds remaining, Bogie now leads the overall standings by five points from Andy Horne, who in turn is eight points ahead of third-placed Alick Kerr.

By the end of SS1 Ae South, Bogie and co-driver Kevin Rae were 7.8 seconds up on  Faulkner and Peter Foy – despite having  what Bogie described as “a big moment, one of the scariest I’ve had”..

Having set a blistering pace from the start, second seed Jock Armstrong – third in the points going into the event – was not so lucky. His day alongside co-driver Kirsty Riddick ended prematurely when their Subaru Impreza “snapped” and ended up stuck in a ditch.

Wilson was fastest through the special spectator stage at Heathhall, but thereafter Bogie and Faulkner battled it out at the top – the former keeping his nose in front on the three following stages, with Faulkner putting in an almighty effort to win the final 13-mile Ae East test.

Bogie said the victory meant all the more to him, given that it was his home event.

“To come away with maximum points was obviously the plan. It’s been a hard day with difficult conditions – very abrasive on the tyres – but we picked a good pace and we’ve got the result we were after.”

Faulkner had set out “focussed 100 percent “ on trying for a repeat of last year’s win, and although he fell just short, he was satisfied with a “hard-earned” runners-up spot.

“The dust on the morning stages didn’t help our cause, but we’ve driven as hard as we know how and tried everything to gain an advantage. We’re pleased with second – it’s a step in the right direction – and sets us up for the Speyside Stages. We can push on again”.

Wilson had been lying fourth – nine seconds adrift of Kerr – going into the last stage, but moved up a place with a slender 1.8 second advantage after the Lanarkshire driver experienced “severe vibrations” from the rear of his Subaru Impreza over the final four miles.

After an eventful day, which included losing his intercom link to co-driver Drew Sturrock, Alness-based Wilson was delighted with his best ever SRC result, to add to a fourth and a fifth overall on previous rounds.

As for Kerr, co-driven by Neil Shanks,  it was a case of damage limitation: “OK, we lost a place because of another reliability issue, but it’s only a single point. At the end of a tough day, it was another decent result, and it keeps us in the hunt”.

Stonehaven’s Barry Groundwater and Daniel Paterson finished a further 21 seconds back in fifth in their Evo 9: “I’ m really happy with that”, declared Groundwater: “Apart from the final stage, where I felt as if the car was getting bogged down, they’ve been really good stages. A brilliant rally, we can’t complain”.

Andy Horne and Jim Howie kept their championship campaign on track with another solid run in their DAM 4100 Gti – ending the day sixth overall.

“Generally the stages conditions were really good – hard under foot – and there was no problem with us running behind the smaller classes”, opined the Inverness driver, adding: “We were pushing but perhaps not getting on as fast as we thought we should. Even so, apart from the first stage, where our time wasn’t great, and also losing a bit of time on the fourth when we had to stop briefly to allow some dust to blow over, we’ve had a very enjoyable day”.

The Oban crew of  Shaun Sinclair and Chris Hamill had not had their troubles to seek and were relieved to secure seventh spot overall in their Evo 9.

“We’ve had  a few issues with the car, including a fuel pump change”, said Sinclair: “We then lost a lot of time on the last two stages because the car wasn’t pulling very well – something to do with the mapping, I believe. So, given our day, I’m happy with where we finished”.

Donnie Macdonald had only decided to make the journey south from Inverness on the eve of the rally after co-driver Keir Beaton’s original partner Paul Cooke had to pull out.

The pair were rewarded with an eighth place finish at the end of what Macdonald declared was “the best drive I’ve had this year” in his Mitsubishi Evo 9.

In contrast, ninth placed  Wayne Sisson – runner up twelve months ago – was disappointed to be at the “wrong end of the top ten” this time round in his Evo 9, alongside navigator David MacFadyen from Inverness.

“I don’t know whether the car is down on power or not”, said the Lancashire-based rally preparation expert: “Apart from the first stage, I’ve been driving as fast as I can. We had a major moment on the last 13-miler – it was almost a big mess – but somehow we managed to get the car back under control”.

Local farmer Rory Young, co-driven by Allan Cathers from Carlisle, rounded off the top ten in his Evo 5, stating that it had “been a frustrating day”, and he “hadn’t been able to match the pace” of competitors he would normally be alongside.

Calum Mackenzie marked his return to the Hankook championship – his first SRC outing since last year’s McRae Stages – by taking top honours in the battle of the Escort Mk2 competitors, with .

Season-long 2-wheel drive front runners Steve Bannister and Louise Sutherland had set the pace over the first three stages, but Mackenzie and navigator Alan Clark  upped the ante over the remaining three tests and by the end of SS6 Ae West were 2 seconds up on their rivals.

Bannister was subsequently excluded from the results for a breach of  regulations at the final finish control.

The 1600 category was won by the Borders duo of Ross Hunter and Eildon Hall in their Honda Civic.

“We’ve had bother with the car over the past few rallies, so we’re really pleased to get here and get a strong finish”, said Hunter.

It proved to be a day of high attrition in the forests to the north and east of Dumfries. Of the 92 starters, only 62 crews made it to the finish.

For full results go to http://www.flyingfinish.co.uk

News of all SRC rounds can be found at http://www.scottishrallychampionship.co.uk

RSAC Scottish Rally – Top Ten Finishers – with total times:

1st David Bogie (Dumfries)/Kevin Rae (Hawick) Mitsubishi Evo 9     44 mins 20.8 secs
2nd Mike Faulkner (Kirtlebridge)/Peter Foy (Bingley) Mitsubishi Evo 6   44.40.0
3rd David Wilson (Alness)/Drew Sturrock (Laurencekirk) Mitsubishi Evo 9   45.36.6
4th Alick Kerr (Bothwell)/Neil Shanks (Elgin)  Subaru Impreza   45.38.4
5th Barry Groundwater (Stonehaven)/Daniel Paterson (Stonehaven) Mitsubishi Evo 9  49.59.7
6th Andy Horne (Inverness)/Jim Howie (Kilmarnock) DAM 4100 Gti   46.11.9
7th Shaun Sinclair (Oban)/Chris Hamill (Kilmore)  Mitsubishi Evo 9   46.13.1
8th Donnie Macdonald (Inverness)/Keir Beaton (Inverness) Mitsubishi Evo 9  46.21.5
9th Wayne Sisson (Burton In Kendal)/David MacFadyen (Inverness) Mitsubishi Evo 9   46.28.8
10th Rory Young (Kirkgunzeon)/Allan Cathers (Carlisle) Mitsubishi Evo 5    46.42.6

CLASS WINNERS

CLASS 2 –  2WD CARS TO 1400CC
FRASER WILSON/STEVEN BROLL (VAUXHALL NOVA )

CLASS 3 – 2WD CARS WITH 8 VALVES TO 1600CC
MALCOLM ROBERTSON/SARAH ROBERTSON (TALBOT SUNBEAM TI)

CLASS 4 – 2WD CARS WITH 16 VALVES TO 1600CC
ROSS HUNTER/EILDON HALL (HONDA CIVIC)

CLASS 5 – 2WD CARS WITH 8 VALVES TO 2000CC
DAVID CAMERON/DOUGLAS CAMERON (FORD ESCORT MK2)

CLASS 7 – FWD CARS WITH 16 VALVES TO 2000CC
JOHN BOYD/FRED BELL (FORD FIESTA ST )

CLASS 8 – CLASS 8 – RWD CARS WITH 16 VALVES TO 2000CC
CALUM MACKENZIE/ALAN CLARK (FORD ESCORT)

CLASS 9 – 2WD CARS WITH 16 VALVES OVER 2000CC
MATTHEW ROBINSON/DARREN BROWN (FORD ESCORT MK2)

CLASS 10  – GROUP N 4WD CARS OVER 2000CC
SHAUN SINCLAIR/CHRIS HAMILL (MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO 9)

CLASS 12  – OTHER 4WD CARS OVER 2000CC
ALICK KERR/NEIL SHANKS (SUBARU IMPREZA)

Photo courtesy of LindsayPhotoSport

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